Teaching Your Dog New Tricks

  1. Teach your dog to shake hands. A neat trick that is easy to teach and easy to learn is shaking hands. To teach your dog this trick, get him into a sitting position and say “shake” as you reach down and take his paw and gently shake it. Repeat this many times, and reward your dog for cooperating with praise. When your dog lifts his paw on command, reward him with a treat and even more praise.
  2. Teach your dog to wave. Waving is a simple trick that may require some time for your dog to master. Place your dog in a sitting position, and wave to him by simply lifting one hand. Then, give the command “wave” while doing this and touching one of the dog’s paws with your non-waving hand. Praise your dog for paying attention and reward him with a treat when the trick is done correctly. Another way to get your dog to lift his paw is to place a small sticker on the bottom of one paw before issuing the wave command.
  3. Teach your dog to roll over. Roll over is a fun dog trick that every owner wants to teach. Get on the floor with your dog and coax him onto one side. Then, give the command “roll over” while placing one hand under the dog’s back and one on his tummy. Help him to roll over while giving the command. Then, praise your dog for cooperating. If your dog is large, you may instead get the dog on one side and use food in front of the nose to coax the rollover. Give the dog the food once the rollover is complete and offer praise. After a few days, your dog will be rolling over with less, or no assistance and coaxing from you. Be sure to reward this behavior very positively!
  4. Teach your dog to catch. Catch is a fun game that you can play with your dog for years to come. Teaching a dog to catch is actually quite simple when you use food as the toy in the beginning. Stand in front of your dog and say “catch” as you toss a treat to the dog. If the treat is caught, allow your dog to eat it. If not, be fast and grab the treat before your dog does. Repeat until the food is caught successfully and always reward your dog with not only the treat, but a large amount of praise as well. Move on to tossing a toy once your dog is willingly catching the treats. Reward your dog with a treat for catching the toy, and offer treats occasionally along with plenty of praise.
  5. Teach your dog to fetch. Fetch is a game that most dogs really enjoy. You can teach your dog to fetch by throwing a ball for him to catch and return to you. Throw the ball just past your dog and say “fetch” as he goes after the ball. Once the ball has been caught, he will want to play again and return the ball you. After your dog becomes good at fetching the ball, move on to sticks and other objects. Remember to always reward the return of the object with a treat and plenty of praise.
  6. Teach your dog to crawl. To teach your dog to crawl, you will need several treats. Get your dog onto the floor, lying on his or her tummy. Then, place your hand firmly on his or her back and place the food on the floor a bit out of reach for your dog. Slowly move the food away, while telling the dog to “crawl”. Your dog will instinctively try to stand. Keep your hand in place and wiggle the food a bit. Your dog will eventually crawl toward the food. Reward your dog with the treat and an ample amount of praise. This trick can take some time to learn, so be patient and keep working at it until he will crawl on command. Always praise good behavior!
  7. Teach your dog left from right. Believe it or not, it is possible to teach your dog the difference between right and left. This is a cool trick that is quite simple to teach through repetition. To teach this trick, stand behind your dog and say “left” as you toss a treat or ball to your left. Repeat this with left, until you only need to issue the command, without tossing a clue. Reward your dog with heavy praise and treats. Next, move on to “right” in the same way. Teach one, and then the other so that your dog does not become confused.
  8. Teach your dog to follow you. The command, “follow me” can be quite powerful and is very rewarding for your dog. It is best to teach this command without a leash whenever possible. The goal is to get your dog to mimic your actions, so that if you walk left or right your dog will follow you. To get your dog to do this, you simply need to entice him or her with plenty of treats and lots of praise when they follow the command.
  9. Teach your dog to move from one side of you to the other. Keeping your dog on a leash, and taking him or her for a walk is the first part of this trick. With a pocketful of treats, you should be able to teach your dog to switch sides in no time at all. Put your dog on your left and a treat in your right hand. Place your right hand behind your back to where your dog sees the treat and say “switch” as you pull the treat, with the dog following, to your right side. Repeat, and have your dog move to your left.
  10. Train your dog to bark on command. Teaching your dog to bark on command, using “bark” or “speak” can be a great way to teach him when NOT to bark as well. To begin, familiarize your dog with the command that you will use, and issue the command. When your dog barks, give him a treat. Once he has mastered barking on command, you can issue a QUIET command and reward him when he stops barking. It is best to teach one command at a time, in order to avoid confusion and frustration.
  11. Train your dog to tell you when he needs to go outside. Dogs cannot speak to us, so it is impossible to assume that we can read their language without some training on both ends. Try this simple trick and teach your dog how to alert you when it’s time to go outside. Hang a bell from the door that you most frequently use to take your dog outside, and every time you take him out have him bump the bell. Then praise him heavily. There will quickly be an association between the bell ringing and the door opening. After a week or so, you will be surprised to hear the bell ringing and to see an anxious pup sitting there ready to go outside.
  12. Teach your dog to dance. No longer is dancing just for people! You can very easily teach your dog to dance, alone or with you. When you catch your dog jumping up, issue the command DANCE, and take his paws. At that point, give your dog lots of praise and even a treat to reward his good behavior. Because you are using this command to redirect the dog’s attention from jumping there is little effort. Just be consistent, and issue the DANCE command while taking your dog’s paws and redirecting his actions to something positive. This is a great way to keep your dog from jumping on guests at the front door.
  13. Teach your dog to find something you have lost. This is a more advanced trick that is often used with assistance animals. However, it can come in quite handy for anyone. The idea is not to have your dog find something specific, but instead to find anything with a human scent. Take your dog outside and hide something like a shirt with your scent on it. Tell your dog to find, and lead him in the direction of where the shirt is hidden. After a while, you will no longer have to lead the dog and you will find this handy the next time you drop something outside.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/eu-cookie-banner-app.liquid